The birth of a child is one of the most important events in a parent’s life. It is a time of intense emotion, the characteristics of which vary greatly depending on individual circumstances and the relationship between the mother and father. Joy is mixed with feelings of being overwhelmed by the multitude of responsibilities that come with caring for an infant. Changes in relationships and feelings of isolation are common and can be a source of duress for parents. Fortunately, the severity of these emotions is often mild and self-limiting. Sometimes, however, they are severe enough to negatively affect daily functioning (Stewart & Vigod, 2016). This suggests the presence of a disorder known as postpartum depression. Many people are familiar with this condition, but it is often falsely assumed to only affect women. However, men can also experience postpartum depression. This is commonly referred to as paternal postpartum depression (PPD). Unfortunately, compared to women, men are rarely screened for the disorder. When screening does occur, it is done sporadically, and instruments originally developed for women, such as the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), are commonly used. This occurs despite knowledge that depressive symptoms in men frequently differ from those that are typically seen in women. Further research is needed to determine the optimal timing and frequency of paternal postpartum depression screening so that clinical practice guidelines may be developed. Implementation of a clinically validated screening tool that is specific to paternal postpartum depression would likely enhance this process.


Hans-Peter De Ruiter

Committee Member

Gwen Verchota

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing


Allied Health and Nursing



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In Copyright